October 14, 2014, Israel
Way back in the Bible/Tanach and in the words of the rabbis the issue of Peer Pressure was dealt with. "Find yourself a good crowd", "Acquire a wise rabbi", "Invest in the proper friend".
In fact the book of Psalms begins with this warning
א אשרי האיש אשר לא הלך בעצת רשעים;
ובדרך חטאים לא עמד, ובמושב לצים לא ישב.
Praised be the man who has not walked (followed) with the advice of the wicked, and in the path of the transgressors did not stand, and in the dwelling place of the foolish did not sit.
You begin by walking...I was only walking with them!!
Then soon you are standing with them....We were just hanging out.
And finally you are sitting with them; by now you have been drawn into their crowd and adopted their ways. The rabbis warn us that it is a subtle process.
How is it that all over the world young people are joining terrorist organizations?
How is it the millions of young people are smoking, taking drugs, and voluntarily becoming part of a dangerous "click"?
And how is it that the worst, most useless Krav Maga organizations, are the most successful?
To understand this you do not need to know martial arts. You need to understand psychology and marketing.
I am by my nature a logical thinker, as was my father of blessed memory. Thus the success of IKI Krav Maga techniques and strategies.
When I was in Business school they showed us advertisements. I recall an advertisement for a car. There was a beautiful woman, wearing not very much clothing and holding a drink in her hand as she leaned against the new car. I asked the professor if she was included with the purchase of the car.
All laughed, but it was not funny.
Be honest, what did you notice, the gun or the young woman?
It was explained to ignorant me, just out of Rabbinical academy where our days were spent pursuing the truth, that our world is one of falsehood and deception. And our goal in Business school was to master this art in order to take people's money from them and make ourselves rich.
Appearance mattered more than content, we were advised to "dress for the position you want".
Of course the sad loser who buys this car (taking out a huge bank loan) will not get a beautiful woman as part of the deal (although these days, from what I have seen, it certainly increases your chances as women sink to new lows) but the point is perceived association.
In the buyer's mind new car = being seen as a successful guy = being surrounded by beautiful women, a drink, good times. The temptation is too much.
Yes, attractive woman. No, such attire is not essential for training in Krav Maga and to be honest I do not think those tiny "fists of fury" will stop a big bad guy with evil intentions. This is why boxing has weight categories; you only compete against people in your weight category and of the same gender. Why is this being sold as self-defense?
Because it is about marketing, not about survival. Please note the difference.
The marketing experts understand all this. Proving that we are a great self-defense system will only appeal to a small category of very serious martial artists. However peer pressure has a way of overcoming and overriding most logical thinking, thus the book of Psalms opens up with that warning.
We see the popular styles, the trends, the movies, the big schools with the big ads, and we are drawn, almost out of our control. We want to be where things are "happening".
One of my favorite marketing slogans is "An educated consumer is our best customer."
Let me be clear; there is nothing wrong with marketing per say, there is nothing wrong with trying to increase your business and sales volume. Heck, come buy some T shirts from us! This will make me happy.
Moshe Katz teaching Krav Maga seminar in Colorado, USA. Real people learning real self-defense.
We at IKI are continuing the tradition of the Rabbinical academies; a lifetime in the pursuit of truth.
Our truth is a matter of life and death for us, and for you. We will try to reach you, we will try and teach you, but only the truth. Your life is not a marketing gimmick to us.
Do not be swayed by clever advertisements, do not follow the wrong crowd only because they are convenient. Be wise and find the truth.